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22 Another address from Eliphaz:

“Is mere man of any worth to God? Even the wisest is of value only to himself! Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect? Is it because you are good that he is punishing you? Not at all! It is because of your wickedness! Your sins are endless!

“For instance, you must have refused to loan money to needy friends unless they gave you all their clothing as a pledge—yes, you must have stripped them to the bone. You must have refused water to the thirsty and bread to the starving. But no doubt you gave men of importance anything they wanted and let the wealthy live wherever they chose. You sent widows away without helping them and broke the arms of orphans. 10-11 That is why you are now surrounded by traps and sudden fears, and darkness and waves of horror.

12 “God is so great—higher than the heavens, higher than the stars. 13 But you reply, ‘That is why he can’t see what I am doing! How can he judge through the thick darkness? 14 For thick clouds swirl about him so that he cannot see us. He is way up there, walking on the vault of heaven.’

15-16 “Don’t you realize that those treading the ancient paths of sin are snatched away in youth, and the foundations of their lives washed out forever? 17 For they said to God, ‘Go away, God! What can you do for us?’ 18 (God forbid that I should say a thing like that.) Yet they forgot that he had filled their homes with good things. 19 And now the righteous shall see them destroyed; the innocent shall laugh the wicked to scorn. 20 ‘See,’ they will say, ‘the last of our enemies have been destroyed in the fire.’

21 “Quit quarreling with God! Agree with him and you will have peace at last! His favor will surround you if you will only admit that you were wrong. 22 Listen to his instructions and store them in your heart. 23 If you return to God and put right all the wrong in your home, then you will be restored. 24 If you give up your lust for money and throw your gold away, 25 then the Almighty himself shall be your treasure; he will be your precious silver!

26 “Then you will delight yourself in the Lord and look up to God. 27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill all your promises to him. 28 Whatever you wish will happen! And the light of heaven will shine upon the road ahead of you. 29 If you are attacked and knocked down, you will know that there is someone who will lift you up again. Yes, he will save the humble 30 and help even sinners by your pure hands.”


22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite(A) replied:

“Can a man be of benefit to God?(B)
    Can even a wise person benefit him?(C)
What pleasure(D) would it give the Almighty if you were righteous?(E)
    What would he gain if your ways were blameless?(F)

“Is it for your piety that he rebukes you
    and brings charges against you?(G)
Is not your wickedness great?
    Are not your sins(H) endless?(I)
You demanded security(J) from your relatives for no reason;(K)
    you stripped people of their clothing, leaving them naked.(L)
You gave no water(M) to the weary
    and you withheld food from the hungry,(N)
though you were a powerful man, owning land(O)
    an honored man,(P) living on it.(Q)
And you sent widows(R) away empty-handed(S)
    and broke the strength of the fatherless.(T)
10 That is why snares(U) are all around you,(V)
    why sudden peril terrifies you,(W)
11 why it is so dark(X) you cannot see,
    and why a flood of water covers you.(Y)

12 “Is not God in the heights of heaven?(Z)
    And see how lofty are the highest stars!
13 Yet you say, ‘What does God know?(AA)
    Does he judge through such darkness?(AB)
14 Thick clouds(AC) veil him, so he does not see us(AD)
    as he goes about in the vaulted heavens.’(AE)
15 Will you keep to the old path
    that the wicked(AF) have trod?(AG)
16 They were carried off before their time,(AH)
    their foundations(AI) washed away by a flood.(AJ)
17 They said to God, ‘Leave us alone!
    What can the Almighty do to us?’(AK)
18 Yet it was he who filled their houses with good things,(AL)
    so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked.(AM)
19 The righteous see their ruin and rejoice;(AN)
    the innocent mock(AO) them, saying,
20 ‘Surely our foes are destroyed,(AP)
    and fire(AQ) devours their wealth.’

21 “Submit to God and be at peace(AR) with him;(AS)
    in this way prosperity will come to you.(AT)
22 Accept instruction from his mouth(AU)
    and lay up his words(AV) in your heart.(AW)
23 If you return(AX) to the Almighty, you will be restored:(AY)
    If you remove wickedness far from your tent(AZ)
24 and assign your nuggets(BA) to the dust,
    your gold(BB) of Ophir(BC) to the rocks in the ravines,(BD)
25 then the Almighty will be your gold,(BE)
    the choicest silver for you.(BF)
26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty(BG)
    and will lift up your face(BH) to God.(BI)
27 You will pray to him,(BJ) and he will hear you,(BK)
    and you will fulfill your vows.(BL)
28 What you decide on will be done,(BM)
    and light(BN) will shine on your ways.(BO)
29 When people are brought low(BP) and you say, ‘Lift them up!’
    then he will save the downcast.(BQ)
30 He will deliver even one who is not innocent,(BR)
    who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”(BS)